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Day in the Life…of Hannah Milton, Assistant Editor | May 20, 2019

Name: Hannah Milton (ECC Committee member)
House: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Position: Assistant Editor

6:10am: My alarm goes off. This is the ideal time for me to wake up. But instead of getting out of bed, I hit snooze by accident and fall back asleep. This goes on for at least thirty more minutes.

6:40am: I actually manage to get out of bed this time around and check my email. I don’t have any early meetings today, but my goal is to get in early and finish up as much work as I can before I start getting new emails.

8:40am: I meant to get into work by 8:00. Needless to say that that did not happen. But 20 minutes early is still better than nothing! I make a beeline for the kitchen, where I get my first cup of coffee for the day. Now it’s time to sit down and answer some emails…

9:00am: I’d planned to answer all of my emails at this point. Instead, I have only answered two…

9:30am: We have our weekly Acquisitions meeting on Wednesday mornings, so I grab my second cup of coffee before heading over. I’m looking forward to today’s meeting—not only are we discussing a YA fantasy project that I’m super excited about, but also a really cool graphic novel proposal. Since I work in Editorial, I always find it fascinating to hear how other departments think as they critique and evaluate manuscripts.

10:30am: Acquisitions is over, and it’s now time to answer more emails. I’ve gotten a dozen in the last hour alone. And since we just finished launching our Spring 2020 list last week, I need to spend some time catching up on all of the admin work that fell behind. So I spend the next hour reviewing a few second pass queries on one of our Fall 2019 middle grade novels, taking care of some routing materials in my inbox, and, of course, trying to answer all the emails.

11:30am: One of my managers and I have a call scheduled with an author to discuss her most recent round of edits. We’re all on the same page about her ideas, which is always gratifying and exciting.

12:10pm: It’s almost time for lunch!! Except…not quite. MORE EMAILS.

12:30pm: It’s actually lunchtime, now! Today, I’m eating a microwave dinner from the freezer aisle, and chips from the vending machine. (I’m clearly living the height of luxury.) I spend my lunch break trying to read a few projects for our upcoming weekly editorial meeting, but I keep getting distracted by Twitter. I’m something of a reformed weather nerd, so in between reading reactions to last Sunday’s Game of Thrones episode, I’m also analyzing tweets about SPC Outlooks and CAPE levels. It’s all very fun.

1:30pm: Now that we’ve launched the Spring 2020 list, our Marketing and Publicity teams have asked all the editors to attend an informal brainstorming meeting where we can share any interesting details about our books and authors. We have a great Spring 2020 list coming up, so it’s a super cool meeting to prepare for.

2:15pm: I want to spend some time reading a YA horror project for one of my managers, but since I’ve gotten a dozen more emails in the last half hour, I spend time answering those, instead. Edits will have to wait until tonight, I suppose…

3:30: We have a marketing and publicity call tomorrow morning with one of our UK authors. These calls serve as opportunities for the author and agent to talk to the Marketing and Publicity teams and ask them any questions they have about their proposed plans. Since this author lives in the UK, the call requires a bit of extra coordination on my end, so I spend some time troubleshooting our video connection.

4:15pm: Some beautiful finished copies of a few June titles arrived in the office, so I’m wrapping up a few copies to send to the authors and agents. This is always a fun part of my job!

5:45pm: One of my managers decides that she wants to bring a project to Acquisitions next week, so I start prepping acquisition materials to distribute to the Sales, Marketing, Publicity, and Subrights teams later this week. At our Acquisitions meetings, we prepare a P&L (a Profit & Loss statement, which essentially just shows how much money we expect to make by publishing the book), a memo detailing the book’s plot and our editorial thoughts, and comparable titles from the marketplace.

5:30pm: My hopes of getting my email inbox down to zero have been dashed. But maybe I can get it down under 30 by the time I have to leave?

6:15pm: I was too ambitious. My inbox is only at 25. I tried!!! But now it’s time to go home, make some dinner, and try to finish taking notes on that YA horror project. And respond to a few submissions. And finish reading another manuscript for edit meeting…

10:00pm: I’m now regretting the decision to read the horror novel late at night. I’m going to have to watch an old episode of Schitt’s Creek before I can sleep.

10:45pm: Time for one last email check…which turns into half an hour of Twitter surfing. But it’s finally time to get some sleep, and do this all over again tomorrow!

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